Global (and WTO) governance – stakes at Davos

January 24, 2007

The international business and high-level political community is currently meeting in the Swiss mountains at Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering – for never-ending talks, networking and parties.

The Financial Times is of course covering the event with particular interest. Two interesting contributions from Martin Wolf and Alan Beattie.

Martin Wolf on “The dilemma of global governance”:

Two interesting quotes:

“The world’s economy is global; its politics are national. This, in a nutshell, is the dilemma of global governance.”

There is a consensus that innovation and renewal are badly needed in current global governance:

“Yet the failure lies far more with national politics than with international institutions. It is governments and their publics that resist taking on new commitments on trade, greenhouse gas emissions or exchange-rate policies.”

Alan Beattie says on the WTO and the current ailing Doha Round talks (see previous post): Troubled talks threaten WTO’s credibility.

Picking up on Pascal Lamy’s comment on the WTO structure as “medieval” while he was EU Trade Commissioner, Beattie’s article on giving more power to the new economic and political heavyweights goes thus:

“(…) as all international institutions struggle to cope with the global shift of economic heft towards Asia, this medieval structure may in fact help it modernise. Allowing the emergence of giant economies automatically to be reflected in de facto power around the negotiating table may be easier than having to revise formal voting weights.”

and:

“The informal “green room” process, for example, which seeks consensus privately among a few countries before involving the wider membership, was much criticised when it was dominated by the US, EU and Japan. Instead of abolishing it, Mr Supachai and Mr Lamy have legitimised it by widening the range of countries invited to include representatives.”

Also: Trade blogger Ben Muse also has a few things to say on the likelihood of the Doha talks – to be revived at Davos – leading to a final accord….

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